This year, Italy’s foremost contemporary art fair, Artissima, will be held at the Oval in Torino, a glass pavilion built for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in the industrial archaeology complex of the Lingotto. Throughout the weekend of November 3rd to 5th, over two hundred galleries from around the world will participate in Artissima 2017, with an additional three art sections devoted to emerging artists, drawings and rediscovering the great pioneers of contemporary art. For this year’s edition of the fair, Artissima has launched its full catalogue online, so visitors can peruse the artistic offerings in advance of the exhibition weekend. During the fair, two special projects will additionally act as curatorial anchors to global trends in contemporary art, with a focus on local practices, spaces and experiments from the 1960s.
Curated by Ilaria Bonacossa and Vittoria Martini, ‘Deposito d’Arte Italiana Presente’ is the new exhibition at Artissima focusing on Italian art. The ‘Deposito’ will host prestigious loans from Piedmont-based institutions and works from the galleries taking part in the fair, reflecting their contributions to the production of contemporary art history in the country.
For this new project, Artissima is looking back at one of the most innovative initiatives of Torino in the 1960s, when the city was one of the international capitals of artistic research: the Deposito d’Arte Presente (1967–68). According to the organizers, the ‘Deposito’ is not really an exhibition, but a place to trigger a narration on the last 20 years of Italian art, to capture it today and understand its future developments. The ‘Deposito’ becomes a place of study and discovery for curators, collectors and art lovers attending the fair.
Another highlight of the fair, which again looks to the 1960s in Torino as a site of inspiration, ‘PIPER. Learning at the discotheque’ is a programme of talks coordinated by “the classroom,” a centre of art and education directed by Paola Nicolin to reinvent the relations between practices of exhibition and pedagogy. The content of the project develops from reflections on the Piper club in Torino, a discotheque designed by Pietro Derossi with Giorgio Ceretti and Riccardo Rosso, which became a popular venue from 1966 to 1969. Transforming the provincial atmosphere of a “dance hall” into a self-managed cultural centre, the Piper set a precedent on an international level for non-institutional spaces focusing on contemporary art.